Seinfeld Loves BozoJerry Seinfeld says the first comic he found funny was Bozo the Clown. Model Agyness Deyn celebrated her 25th birthday at Don Hills by throwing cake at the crowd. Neil Strauss offers pick-up tips to Rush and Molloy. Pegu Club bartender Erin Williams is currently in Kittila, Lapland, competing in the tenth annual Finlandia Vodka Cup. Diff’rent Strokes star Gary Coleman got married to a Utah redhead a foot taller and eighteen years younger (and he lost his virginity – thanks for ruining our breakfast, “Page Six”!).
Nanny Advice From Susan SarandonSusan Sarandon knows how to find good help — but she didn’t learn the tricks until too late. “By the time I finally realized how to spot a good nanny, I didn’t need them anymore,” the actress said January 30 at a star-studded screening of her new HBO film, Bernard and Doris, in which she plays heiress Doris Duke (Ralph Fiennes stars opposite as her controversial flamboyant butler and caretaker). Her au pair advice? “Don’t pick someone you want to hang out with,” she said. “Pick someone that has a way with kids.” And make sure they can deal with boundaries, especially in a busy world where staff can seem like part of the family. “Some people can adjust to that, others just completely lose their discipline.” Finally, pick the right person for the right phase in your kid’s life, like when Sarandon and Tim Robbins were raising two young sons Jack and Miles and she hired “a young gal with a lot of energy, as opposed to somebody very sedentary.” With the kids getting older, the Oscar winner has less help — a housekeeper, but no publicist, assistant, chef, or chauffeur. “My kids are on their feet, taking the train,” she said. “If they’re privileged, they don’t think it’s the norm.” —Justin Ravitz
Thay It Ain’t So! Merrill Chief Loses Part of BonusFINANCE
• The falling market has shaved off a big chunk of Wall Street hottie John Thain’s compensation. Don’t worry, Thainie-boy, we still love you. [DealBook/NYT]
• Wondering what the hell’s happening in the markets? Watch one trader lose his life savings in a single day. (NSFW) [Crossing Wall Street]
• Ex–Goldman banker becomes underwater gravedigger. Say what? [NYT]
Ask Not for Whom the Bell Tolls. It Tolls for Tina Brown.Late last week, we received a very nice invitation to a luncheon sponsored by the Magazine Publisher’s Association and the American Society of Magazine Editors. It was their annual lifetime achievement awards, and guess who is being honored? Tina Brown. Apparently the former editor of Tatler, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, and the ill-fated Talk is at that point in her career when the final retrospective is in order. You know, the point in her career that comes at the end. We feel a little bad for Tina. Getting a lifetime achievement award when you are 54 is a little bit like getting the “Most Improved GPA” certificate at college graduation or a magazine cover with the tagline “Sexy at ANY Age”: It’s an honor and an insult at once. Surely, we thought, Tina must be up to something. She’s a legend! For example, there’s that HBO development deal that we heard about but HBO exec Sheila Nevins apparently didn’t. And after finishing her book The Diana Chronicles in late 2006, she went on to write Um Well, we’re not sure, exactly. An insider tells us that she’s shopping around two or three new projects. But we haven’t heard about them. Does anybody know what Tina’s been up to? Or should we start assembling a clip reel for her memorial service award-ceremony montage right now? We’ll set it to the tune of “Candle in the Wind.”
Related: HBO’s Sheila Nevins Is Confused by Tina Brown, Bored by Hillary
Subliminal Messages in the HBO Store WindowIf you’ve walked up Sixth Avenue recently, you’ve probably noticed that there is what seems to be an odd boutique specializing in Sex and the City merchandise. What it turns out to be is the HBO store, which has tarted up its window display in honor of the upcoming SATC movie. It is “striking, innovative and fashion-forward” boasts a press release we just received in our in-box. It’s also continually playing the movie trailer, which was recently released. But in the still image above, without the flashy preview clip, we can’t help but be distracted by this question: How many of the objects in that window are sex toys?
Earlier: The ‘Sex and the City’ Trailer Arriveth
The Nine Media Lives of Tina BrownTina Brown signed a deal to develop story ideas and shows for HBO. Donny Deutsch celebrated his 50th-birthday party at the Jazz at Lincoln Center with lobster tail and foie gras. Harvey Weinstein and Georgina Chapman are having trouble yachting around on their Caribbean honeymoon because there’s a massive fuel strike on St. Barts. (Weinstein’s friends also sent him a lot of video congratulations on the day of his wedding.) Lydia Hearst is mad that her name is being attached to Darfur awareness events without her permission. Gay activist Allen Roskoff keeps George Bush toilet paper at his Jane Street apartment.
Allah’s Love We DeliverSome Palestinians claim that Yasser Arafat died of AIDS. Justin Timberlake had Lance Bass and his boyfriend run interference at the opening of his Southern Hospitality so that he could sneak out without running into Jessica Biel. Donald Trump and other captains of industry are fighting to keep the heliport in Hudson River Park open. Firefighters invited to the screening of Adam Sandler’s I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry took issue with Sandler’s financial support of Rudy Giuliani. Jonathan Ames is set to box with another writer. Moby got a surprisingly funny letter from Karl Rove. A.M. Homes is developing a show about the Hamptons for HBO.
Sex and the Big Screen
You’re as surprised as we are, no doubt. A Sex and the City movie, which we’d long thought was dead — Kim Cattrall wouldn’t play nice with the other girls, we were told, and Sarah Jessica had moved on to bigger and better things, like TV commercials — is actually, really, finally happening. This news comes from today’s Variety, which also reports that series creator Michael Patrick King will write and direct the film and that New Line Cinema — like HBO, a Time Warner unit — will produce it. We’d like to say we’re happy about this development, but we live in the West Village and we’re not looking forward to the additional influx of fanny-pack-wearing Midwesterners this movie will deliver. They’re only cupcakes, people.
Dust Off Your Manolos: ‘Sex and the City’ Heading to the Big Screen [Vulture]
We Cannot Believe We Continue to Watch ‘Entourage’So we were sitting there around 10:30 last night, more or less hating ourselves for just having spent a half-hour of our life watching Entourage. Had it always been this obnoxious? Did we just earlier not notice because we needed the comedown from The Sopranos, needed a half-hour of self-impressed vacuousness in which we could decompress? Or was it newly, differently bad lately, specifically last night? Good thing, then, we’ve got Vulture and its Entourage Guilt/Pleasure Index. Adam Sternbergh examines last night’s installment — including, as he points out, the most unpleasant mental image ever conjured by a television show — and declares the episode almost entirely guilty. Good to know it’s not just us.
The ‘Entourage’ Guilt/Pleasure Index: Turtle Gets a What? [Vulture]
Gore ’08!Michael Moore may support Al Gore for president. A theater in the HBO building was named for former network chief Michael Fuchs, and Fuchs gave a weird, bad, awkward speech at the ceremony. Jerry Seinfeld is very excited about his upcoming Bee Movie. 50 Cent is very excited about playing a drug dealer opposite Robert De Niro and Al Pacino in his upcoming movie. A lot of racehorse owners are not pleased with Eliot Spitzer’s plan for Aqueduct to be government-run. David Burke took home $10,000 after beating Bobby Flay and Sam Talbot in a poker tournament in Aspen. Jimmy Fallon wants to lose weight. “Utter pandemonium” broke out, says a “Page Six” source, after Debra Messing, Mike Nichols, and other guests were rained upon during the Public Theater’s premiere of Romeo and Juliet in Central Park. (Actually, we thought it was pretty fun.) Ian Claus dedicated his first book to Chelsea Clinton.
the morning line
• So some TV show had its finale last night? Depending on whom you believe, the ending was either terrible (“Chase will have to live with what he did last night,” says Stasi in the Post), simply mediocre (“It didn’t end,” says Bianculli in the News. “It just stopped”), or a near-ideal conclusion to the series (“a perfectly imperfect finish,” according to Heffernan in the Times). We’re just wondering: How many people started calling Time Warner, convinced their cable had gone out? [NYP, NYDN, NYT]
Spike Lee Mourns Christopher Moltisanti, New Orleans
All the death and destruction on this final season of The Sopranos is taking even Spike Lee by surprise. “It shook me up,” he said today after accepting a Peabody award for his HBO documentary about New Orleans, When the Levees Broke. “Michael Imperioli and I, we’re friends. And when he went out, I was not good for two days after that. In fact, I had to call him up. I said, ‘You still alive?’” Turns out Imperioli is just fine. Lee says the actor seemed more worried about a casting crisis at the Off Broadway theater he owns with his wife than about Christopher’s demise. Lee, meanwhile, says he’s already thinking about two new documentary projects for HBO. One would be a follow-up to Levees, which he likes to tell people is still a work-in-progress. “The misconception is, ‘Oh, they had Mardi Gras. Oh, the French Quarter’s open. Oh, women are flashing their breasts on the rails with the beads. Everything’s okay,’” he says. “But it’s not okay. Half the population is still not there, and a lot of them can’t come back because they don’t have jobs and the rents have been doubled and tripled. It’s crazy.” —Jada Yuan
So. That was some Sopranos last night, eh? The critic-y kids over at Vulture count a full five hits in this penultimate episode: the rat garroted by Silvio, the Ukrainian father and daughter, Bobby, Sil, and Tony’s therapy. The worst damage of all, however, is undoubtedly yet to come: There’ll be some in next week’s finale, sure, but also lots to those poor Baccalieri kids, doomed to be raised by Janice. What else caught Emily Nussbaum’s eye? Find out at Vulture.
UPDATE: Plus an obituary for Bobby Bacala, “the biggest sad-sack, nice-guy murdering mobster we’ve ever met.”
‘The Sopranos’: Melfi Whacks Tony
There’s Nothing Uglier Than New MoneyFINANCE
• Which New York hedge fund makes its employees’ spouses sign “postnup” agreements to protect assets? [FT via MSNBC]
• Losses at Goldman’s Global Alpha Fund mean smaller checks for employees. Will they leave the firm for a healthier, wealthier fund? [NYP]
• Summer interns at Credit Suisse have an important role to play: standing in line at Shake Shack. [DealBreaker]
Are the Navajo the Next Soccer Moms?So much for soccer moms and Nascar dads — Navajo leaders might be a key demographic presidential candidates should target. “A lot of us leave it up to the Navajo nation to make the decision for us,” Native American actor Adam Beach told us last week at the premiere party for HBO’s Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, in which he stars. He’s a Canadian, but he told us Native Americans in the United States tend to vote as a bloc, and they all look to the Navajo for guidance. “The Navajo nation is a very powerful nation when it comes to tradition, when it comes to language, when it comes to maintaining their identity,” he said during the party at the Museum of Natural History on the Upper West Side. “And as a people they’re very well connected with each other. So when they elect, it’s as a whole nation. No other nation is as collectively put together, so we’re very much with their decision.” But Hillary, Obama, and Rudy shouldn’t get worried they’ve missed their chance. In fact, they’ve got plenty of time to lock up this vote, Beach said. “It comes around to the actual week, you know?” —Bennett Marcus
Hollywood Agent Exaggerates!A former colleague of Hollywood superagent (and Ari Gold inspiration) Ari Emanuel says he intentionally threw tantrums when talking to Entourage producer Doug Ellin so they’d make it into the show’s script. Donna Hogan plans to make over her appearance — plastic surgery and all — so that she looks just like sister Anna Nicole Smith. NBC’s Campbell Brown may take Paula Zahn’s spot at CNN if she leaves. Jason Binn’s wife is pregnant. Dina Lohan denies saying she ever called herself the “White Oprah,” except that she did. Patti Smith is covering the Doors’ “Soul Kitchen” because a sanitation truck that almost ran her over was playing that song. Emma Thompson pissed off Will Smith when she pulled out a lit cigarette at the Waverly Inn. Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer is an investor in a lounge in Sag Harbor.
But North Caldwell Is Not Expanding!
So maybe you think that first-season Sopranos scene, when Tony garroted the witness-relocated turncoat while taking Meadow to visit colleges, was the show’s most disturbing scene. Or maybe you were as disturbed as we were by his quick, cold asphyxiation of Christopher last week. Whatever your preference, last night’s episode — How to Clean Practically Anything! The Little Italy beating! Bogdanovich and the water bottle! A.J.(poor A.J.)! — was one of the greats. And, argues New York critic Emily Nussbaum on Vulture, A.J.’s attempted suicide ranks as the show’s single most disturbing scene yet. With only two episodes left, we hope they don’t get much more disturbing.
The Most Disturbing ‘Sopranos’ Scene Yet [Vulture]
Beyoncé Smells! (Like Armani)Beyoncé will be the face of Giorgio Armani’s new fragrance. Former West Wing star Allison Janney confused George Bush and playwright Charles Busch. Lindsay Lohan made out with British scenester Callum Best at a club. Rosario Dawson sang karaoke in Times Square for her 28th birthday. Denise Richards claims she had to hire bodyguards to keep the paparazzi away during her divorce from Charlie Sheen.
Albrecht Out at HBOHBO chairman Chris Albrecht was forced to resign last night after allegedly beating up his girlfriend Sunday, likely because this wasn’t his first domestic assault. Harvey Weinstein had to explain to girlfriend Georgina Chapman that Elie Wiesel was notable for being “in a concentration camp” at the Time 100 fête. And Jessica Simpson dressed conservatively at the event to not draw attention from boyfriend and honoree John Mayer. Cameron Diaz went to a sex show at the Box the night before appearing on the Today show. Josh Hartnett and Helena Christensen sang karaoke together. Lorne Michaels sang karaoke at oil heir William Hess’s bar mitzvah. Nancy Grace is trying to get on The View now that she’s out at Court TV. NBC News’ David Gregory may be Don Imus’s replacement.
‘Entourage’: Guilt or Pleasure?
Here’s a question that’s no doubt been puzzling you as much as it’s been puzzling us: Why should only 24 get its foibles dissected with our beloved Absurd-o-Meter? Truth is, we had no good answer. And now that Vulture is up and running, our friends down the hall will be introducing a whole slew of regular, series-recapping features. Up first is today’s installment of the Entourage Guilt/Pleasure Index. Adam Sternbergh rates last night’s episode more pleasurable than guilt-inducing, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t a lot of guilt. Why? Find out at Vulture.
‘Entourage’: The Guilt/Pleasure Index [Vulture]
Earlier: Introducing Vulture
‘Sopranos’ Premieres, City Life Pauses
Alan Alda tells the story — or at least we’re pretty sure we’ve read someplace that Alan Alda tells the story — that he first realized the tremendous cultural significance of M*A*S*H when he went driving in Los Angeles during the broadcast of its famous farewell episode in 1983: The freeways, in that pre-VHS era, were empty. We can report that at about 8:30 last night, a half-hour before the final Sopranos premiere and usually a prime burgers-and-beer hour, you could walk into the Corner Bistro and immediately be seated.
Related: The Loneliest Soprano [NYM]
Earlier: Daily Intel’s coverage of The Sopranos.
What Worries a Soprano? The Fans
You’d think the cast of The Sopranos would be riding pretty high right now, with the hype nearly deafening in advance of Sunday’s final-season premiere. (This is, what, our 47th item on it?) But, in fact, they’re a bit paranoid. Why? Crazy fans. At the world premiere at Radio City Music Hall last week, Ray Abruzzo, who plays dim-witted Carmine Jr., told us about a woman calling him over to her table in a restaurant. “She says, ‘You’re the idiot!’ And in full loud voice, “He’s the idiot! He’s the idiot!’ People are turning around, having no idea what she’s talking about, except that I’m an idiot.” John Ventimiglia — you know him as restaurateur Artie Buco — says he often gets handed actual food, “like, ‘Here, I want you to try this gravy.’”
Fighting ‘Times’A fight in the New York Times Style department between fashion editor Anita LeClerc and deputy editor Mary Ann Giordano got physical when LeClerc actually shoved Giordano. Lindsay Lohan still doesn’t get along with her (recently released from prison) father. Elton John capped his 60th-birthday weekend in New York by spending time at Roseland with a leather-clad, muscular African-American man. “Page Six” resurrects its vendetta against Keith Olbermann, this time claiming he once asked out a porn star and was rejected. Inventive Spanish chef Dr. Miguel Sanchez Romera is looking for a Village townhouse in which to open up a Manhattan branch of his Barcelona eatery, L’Esguard. Anna Nicole Smith wanted to play Marilyn Monroe in a Joe DiMaggio biopic but was turned down for the role.
Fourteen Things We Learned at Last Night’s ‘Sopranos’ Advance Screening
1. The first two episodes are some of the most domestic we’ve seen.
2. Carmella still gives Tony blow jobs.
3. A.J.’s Puerto Rican girlfriend has him whipped.
4. Phil Leotardo’s inferiority complex stretches back for generations.
5. Daniel Baldwin apparently “takes Ben Kingsley to acting school” as the lead in Christopher’s movie.
6. It’s possible for someone to get shot at your dinner table without you noticing.
7. Glenn Close is several seasons behind in her Sopranos viewing.
8. Gay Talese thinks both Tony and Christopher will die before the show ends.
9. No one else would dare speculate on the show’s conclusion.
10. Sam Rockwell owns a 52-inch flat screen and takes his TV-watching “very seriously.”
11. Sopranos writer Matt Weiner thinks Melinda is a more likely American Idol winner than LaKisha, and he thinks Blake needs to stop pretending he’s not gay.
12. Sydney Pollack plays a prison-hospital orderly in this season’s second episode.
13. Sydney Pollack cannot make a bed.
14. The Sopranos looks amazing on a movie screen. —Jada Yuan
Also, There Were Parties After the OscarsLeonardo DiCaprio, Ryan Gosling, and Vince Vaughn cruised the Vanity Fair Oscar party at Morton’s solo. (Everyone who is anyone was there.) Except Brad Pitt, who was a no-show at the Oscars despite having starred in Babel and been a producer on The Departed. Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard are leaving the West Village for Brooklyn because of the paparazzi. Meanwhile, in Brooklyn, Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams are fighting. Oprah says that Barack Obama didn’t start the Clinton-Geffen feud. Zero-star Kobe Club owner Jeffrey Chodorow has banned Frank Bruni from all 29 of his restaurants. At $70,000, a private soccer lesson with David Beckham was the lowest winning bid at Elton John’s Oscar-night AIDS benefit. Natalie Portman left an Oscars party with Gael García Bernal.
It’s Not Easy Being a PatakiBreaking: Tinsley Mortimer shops for her own groceries! Kevin Federline is broke, steals food and booze from a restaurant. Emily Pataki failed the bar exam. How Kennedyesque. Former Tom Cruise sparring partner Brooke Shields is going to his wedding, perhaps as a publicity stunt. Nicole Kidman probably isn’t pregnant, Ivanka Trump maybe had a boob job, but Tom DeLay definitely nominated about-to-be House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as Time’s Person of the Year. Dave Chappelle bowed out of a gig for HBO, and HBO isn’t happy. Axl Rose brought some strippers to Soho House. Borat’s cultural learnings may soon be available in a Barnes & Noble near you. (Meantime, he’d do well to avoid getting into a fight with fellow Kazakh Wladimir Klitschko.) Bruce Springsteen made a surprise appearance at a London concert; the crowd liked him. George Gershwin and Ed Bradley were honored at Lincoln Center, where it is discovered that Mr. Gershwin used to be quite the ladies’ man. Liza Minnelli played a $1 million bat mitzvah pro bono. A former America’s Next Top Model winner ditched Tyra Banks as her manager, changed her last name. Angelina Jolie was going to adopt an Indian kid, but Madonna scared her off.